Dave Ramsey vs. Jesus Christ

Jenny and I have taken Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University.” It helped us a great deal, and it made a lasting change in our lives. But there were parts I was uncomfortable with because he encouraged people to move beyond good stewardship and to aim for great wealth. This came to mind recently because Dave tweeted:

“If you do rich people stuff, eventually you will be rich. If you do poor people stuff, you will eventually be poor.” [1]

I don’t think it’s that simple. Certainly, if you do “rich people stuff” like being born into wealth and privilege or inheriting a fortune, you will be rich. But the world is filled with too much inequity for everyone to be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps—especially since some people don’t have boots. Furthermore, the above statement seems to imply that the financial state we find ourselves in is the financial state we’ve earned, even if that were true it would still be problematic. Long before twitter, Jesus Christ said:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20, NRSV)

and a few verses later,

“But Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.” (Luke 6:24, NRSV)

Wealth is not one of the goals of the Christian life. We are called to be good stewards of what has been entrusted to us, but storing up treasure for ourselves in this life is not the way of Jesus Christ. We are instead called to be good stewards that we might be good Samaritans.


[1] [1] James Martin. Twitter post, March 7, 2019, 8:02 a.m., http://bit.ly/2U3qCFc.